A while after this, Morse went back to studying science, attending lectures about electricity. And he eventually abandoned painting in favor of creating a system of instant communication over long distances. In retrospect, it's pretty obvious why he chose that field over, say, inventing the vibrating bed.
Related: 15 Unexpected Origins Of Famous Ideas
Football Has The Forward Pass Because Of Dead Students
It seems impossible to believe, but football actually used to be even more dangerous than it is today. Players straight-up died on the regular. In the 1905 season alone, 18 players Super Bowl Shuffled right off this mortal coil.
Those weren't professional players; this was before the NFL. They were all students -- three of them playing for colleges, and the rest in high school. Americans began debating whether it was such a good idea to have kids kill each other for entertainment, and President Theodore Roosevelt even addressed the topic when he gave a commencement address at Harvard. "Brutality in playing a game," he said, "should awaken the heartiest and most plainly shown contempt for the player guilty of it." Schools took note and started eliminating their football programs.
But that hadn't been Roosevelt's intention. After all, he liked football. When he heard Harvard, his alma mater, was planning on abolishing football, he called the idea "doing the baby act," and made a bunch of new statements in support of the game. "It would be a real misfortune to lose so manly and vigorous game as football," he said, and he pushed for reform rather than elimination. So reps from various schools came together and made changes to the rules to make things safer. The biggest change was the introduction of the forward pass.